Commercials. They Are So Weird.

Commercials. They Are So Weird.

Commercials. They are so weird. I know that most of us watch TV now on DVR or Hulu or On Demand so we can zip right through the 10 minutes of interruptions during the show and we don’t see them. But, sometimes, because I’m just a curious kid, I watch live TV so I can see how corporate America believes they need to communicate with the consuming public.

Ads are changing, are becoming more outrageous or more tied to actual programming. The reasons are simple as outlined in this Variety article:

In 2017, U.S. advertisers are expected to increase what they spend on digital venues like social media, streaming video and search, according to projections from Interpublic Group’s Magna Global media-research unit, and cut back their outlays on national and local TV, print and radio. To stay competitive, traditional media must adopt the techniques used by their digital competitors, who aren’t as severe about blending the lines between content and commerce. (Variety, 12/19/16 Brian Steinberg)

Here are some that puzzle me:
The allergy medicine that claims that it can take care of six symptoms of allergy sufferers and tells us, several times during the commercial, that “Six is Greater Than One”. Really. They say this again and again. Either it is a dire commentary on the education levels of the audience—didn’t we learn that simple math fact somewhere around 1st or 2nd grade?—or they just have nothing else to sell so they just keep shouting at us that six is greater than one. Now, I don’t suffer from allergies and have no need for this or any type of medication, but if I did, this would not be it. Do they think I’m an idiot?

The Cinnamon Toast Squares cereal commercial where all the little squares eat each other. It’s just a creepy, cannibalistic little dance that they do as they gobble up their brothers and sisters. It’s disturbing and definitely does not inspire me to go buy a cereal that eats its own.

Any ad that has to do with bowel or bladder issues. You can create cute little cartoon characters that follow you around or you can have some macho guy talk about opioid induced constipation (and of course give it the required acronym OIC) but…really? I do not want to see, hear or discuss anyone else’s bladder leakage or explosive diarrhea or constipation because you are addicted to pain pills. I have enough to deal with on my own. Keep your problems in your own bathroom, thank you.

Progressive. I’ll just leave that there. Where everything turns white and blue and everyone looks like Flo. It’s just annoying.

Tic Tacs Pox. Again, why are we going to the gross out phase of promoting a candy? Do I really want to eat “the rainbow” that I’ve just plucked off of a teenager’s face? I don’t think so.

Any commercial that uses an actor that I like and admire and puts them in a situation that is regrettable. Example—Jeff Goldblum in Change your apartment Change the world. Let’s think about that. With global warming, war, poverty, famine, dangerous divisions between race and religion and ideology. . .if I change my apartment all of this is going to change? I. DON’T. THINK. SO.

Real People Not Actors. OK, on behalf of actors, I apologize that these ad companies do not believe that you are real people. And, honestly, am I to believe that all of this fawning and ohhing and ahhing just happened organically? Where are the “real people” who walk into a car display and say “that sucks!”? Now that’s the real people I want to see.

Zombies. You are not going to sell me anything by invoking zombies. So just quit it.

The heart-strings pulling ads for abandoned animals or starving children with sad songs. I truly cannot watch them. I appreciate the need and the sentiment, but I must change the channel.

The good news is that InSight Books does not advertise. First, it’s very expensive. Second how, exactly, do we tastefully talk about our resources that are focused on life transitions? Show someone sitting on their couch crying, with a voiceover spokesperson explaining why the person needs to read our books? Just doesn’t feel right. We must rely on our customers who will find our website or pass along our information to their friends. We are a word-of-mouth kind of business.

So be grateful that we don’t put you through zombies or cannibal cereal. Just go look at our stuff and, if you find a topic that speaks to you, buy something. It won’t change the world, but it might change you.


Glenda Stansbury is Marketing & Development Director of InSight Books and Co-Founder and Dean of the InSight Institute Certified Celebrant Program. She is also a speaker, a trainer, and an observer of life, and one of Doug Manning’s adorable and talented daughters. You may email Glenda at